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North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department

Fort Ransom State Park


Fort Ransom State Park's natural areas provide an important link in the protection of the remaining Sheyenne River Valley ecosystem. This unique ecosystem includes three major types of vegetation—eastern deciduous woodlands, tall grass prairie and mixed grass prairie. The landscape region is referred to as a savannah, the transition zone between the prairie and eastern hardwood forest.

Whitetail doe and fawn

Managed for both its natural and scenic qualities, visitors will find American elm, green ash, basswood and bur oak, together with numerous strub species and prairie vegetation.

Wildlife species thrive throughout the park. White-tailed deer are especially abundant. Other species that may be seen are raccoon, beaver, squirrels, mink, coyote and fox. Numerous species of songbirds, birds of prey and shorebirds can be spotted at various times of the season.


A number of rare species have been documented, including the Dakota skipper butterfly, regal fritillary, pileated woodpecker, eastern bluebird, scarlet tanager and Swainson's hawk.

In the Sheyenne River can be found rare fish such as the pugnose shiner and northern redbelly dace, along with rare and unusual species of mussels.



Wild Turkey